Le Vieux Donjon, as it exists today, was created in 1979 with the marriage of Lucien and Marie Jose Michel. Both Lucien and Marie Jose's parents owned vineyards in the region, and those holdings were combined to form Le Vieux Donjon. The domaine covers fourteen hectares of vineyards (all farmed organically), thirteen planted to red grapes and one planted to white. The Michel's holdings are primarily in the North and Northwest of the appellation, but they also have small plots in the Southwest and East. Their most important parcel is Pialons, and the grapes from the 2008 come from that parcel as well as those in Cabrieres, Bois de Boursan, Les Marines and Le Mourre de Gaude. The soils are mainly limestone and clay, and are studded with the famed galets roule, the round, rust-colored stones which were left behind after the retreat of the Alpine glaciers which once covered the region. Now that Lucien Michel has inched his way into retirement, his young daughter, Claire, who did an apprenticeship at Napa's Harlan Estate, is in full control of the winemaking (another example of a woman who has taken charge of a famous estate). Remington Norman in Rhone Renaissance says of Donjon, "The style of the wines is unashamedly, 'traditionelle' – vins de garde with plenty of backbone and muscle to them. However, these are no clumsy blockbusters, but wines with real definition and elegance underneath powerful exteriors…These are well-constituted wines with great depth and extract, which manage to retain finesse." The secret to the success of Le Vieux Donjon is really no secret at all. They have tremendously old vines (many in excess of 80 years of age) and they are experts at picking only once the grapes have achieved optimum ripeness.